Expungement Guide

South Dakota Expungement

South Dakota Misdemeanor Classifications
A misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by less than 365 days imprisonment in a county jail. Should the crime require more time in a prison then it will be classified as a felony, not a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors range from petty crimes to felonies that have reduced to misdemeanors by juries, judges, or plea agreements.

In South Dakota, misdemeanors are divided into two classes; Class 1 misdemeanors and Class 2 misdemeanors. A misdemeanor is classified based on the maximum penalty slowed by law should one be found guilty of the associated crime.

Class 1 Misdemeanor
A Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by no more than one year imprisonment in a county jail or a two thousand dollar fine, or both. In addition, the defendant may also be ordered to pay the victim restitution as ordered by the court. (South Dakota Codified Law 22-6-2).

Class 2 Misdemeanor
A Class 2 misdemeanor is punishable by no more than thirty days imprisonment in a county jail or five hundred dollars fine, or both. In addition, the defendant may also be ordered to pay the victim restitution as ordered by the court. (South Dakota Codified Law 22-6-2).

Expungement of a Criminal Record in South Dakota
An expungement of a criminal record takes place when a judge seals one's criminal record. This makes the record no longer public. Record expungement will often make obtaining a job easier because future employers can no longer search the expungee's past criminal record and the expungee does not have to report to future employers that he or she was convicted of a past crime. In essence, an expungement wipes a person's slate clean, allowing him or her to start over without the looming pervious record.

A person may apply to have his or her record expunged five years from the sentencing date. The sentencing date is the day the defendant was sentenced for his or her crime; this is not the date he or she was arrested, the charges were issued or the conviction date. An expungement is likely to be granted if the person requesting it has fully completed the required sentence, the probation period, and has paid all associated fines. Courts are very strict on the completion of these items.

If a person's probation period is not completed but the sentence has been completed and all fines have been paid, many jurisdictions will allow for the defendant to file for a probation modification. A probation modification will allow a judge to determine if the defendant has displayed outstanding performance while on probation and thus merits a modification to a lesser probation period.

The court will usually allow for any records associated with criminal file to be expunged. This would include police reports, investigation reports, and other reports leading up to the conviction. The expungement will not end here, all records of the detention or correctional facility and court documents related to the case can also be expunged.

Crimes that Cannot be Expunged
The following crimes cannot be expunged in South Dakota:
  1. any conviction involving a minor,
  2. any conviction involving felony sexual assault,
  3. a misdemeanor involving a crime of moral turpitude,
  4. convictions for a Class A, Class B, Class 1, or Class 2 felony,
  5. and adult criminal convictions may not be sealed.

See also:
South Dakota Misdemeanor External link (opens in new window)
South Dakota Felony External link (opens in new window)
South Dakota Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)